Scottish shuttler Kirsty Gilmour claimed her first BWF Super 100 badminton title for two years by winning the SaarLorLux Open in Saarbrücken, Germany. Having surprised top seed and reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin in Saturday’s semi-finals, Gilmour defeated home player Yvonne Li 21-10, 21-17 in the final.
The 27-year-old Glasgow-based shuttler took an early grip of the title match, finishing the first game with a fine cross-court backhand. Li ran Gilmour closer in the second game, but the Scot’s dominance of the net and powerful smashes from the back court were too much for her German opponent.
After reaching the final of the Denmark Open two weeks ago, where she lost out to Japan’s ,Carolina Marin was widely expected to secure a tournament victory in Saarbrucken. Her task was seemingly made easier by the withdrawal of second seed Mia Blichfeldt with the Dane suffering ongoing heel problems.
The Spaniard made smooth progress to the semi-finals, but went down in straight games to old rival Gilmour. In eight previous meetings, Marin had won seven times including in the European Championships finals of 2016 and 2017. But the Scot, seeded three, led 19-16 in the first game before Marin reeled off four consecutive points to go 20-19 in front. Then it was Gilmour’s turn to dominate, winning the next three points to take it 22-20.
Marin led 7-4 in the second game, but Gilmour dominated after that to run out a 22-20, 21-14 winner and score her second win against the Olympic champion. Reacting to her defeat in Germany, Spain’s first ever badminton Olympic gold medal winner is determined to stay positive.